We … should never think that the new evangelization does not concern us personally. In these days voices among the bishops were raised to recall that the church must first of all heed the word before she can evangelize the world. The invitation to evangelize becomes a call to conversion.
We firmly believe that we must convert ourselves first to the power of Christ who alone can make all things new, above all our poor existence. … We are certainly aware – we bishops first of all – that we could never really be equal to the Lord's calling and mandate to proclaim his Gospel to the nations. We know that we must humbly recognize our vulnerability to the wounds of history, and we do not hesitate to recognize our personal sins.
We are, however, also convinced that the Lord's Spirit is capable of renewing his church and rendering her garment resplendent if we let him mold us … If this renewal were up to us, there would be serious reasons to doubt. But conversion in the church, just like evangelization, does not come about primarily through us poor mortals, but rather through the Spirit of the Lord.
Here we find our strength and our certainty that evil will never have the last word whether in the church or in history, “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid,” (Jn 14:27) Jesus said to his disciples.
The work of the new evangelization rests on this serene certainty. We are confident in the inspiration and strength of the Spirit, who will teach us what we are to say, and what we are to do even in the most difficult moments. It is our duty, therefore, to conquer fear through faith, discouragement through hope, indifference through love.
Read the full message to the people of God from the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.